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Jennifer Aniston gets credit for new paparazzi crackdown, says 'there have to be some boundaries'

December 30, 2009 |  7:16 am

Jennifer Aniston is getting credit for new legislation in California that cracks down on the practices of the paparazzi.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) said Aniston's activism was instrumental in the success of Assembly Bill 524, which takes effect Jan. 1. The law allows for civil penalties of up to $50,000 against members of the paparazzi and media outlets that sell and buy "unlawfully obtained" photos and video of people, including celebrities and their families.

The law focuses on photos and video taken in a way that violates privacy laws, featuring people "engaging in a personal or familial activity" where they have "a reasonable expectation of privacy." This includes photographing people in their backyards or on other private property.

Bass said she wrote the bill after hearing horror stories about the paparazzi from Aniston, who assembled a group of celebrities and entertainment security experts to describe the problems for the Assembly leader.

Aniston recounted having 30 photographers charge her on the sidewalk and instances in which she was followed through Los Angeles streets at night by photographers in SUVs who ran red lights and blocked her car so they could get a shot.

"There have to be some boundaries," Aniston told The Times. "When you have children in the car and the photographers are rushing you, it's just absolutely out of control.

"It's become a public safety issue. Somebody's going to die if we don't do something," she said.

The measure was signed into law in October by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Read Patrick McGreevy's full story here.